Many magic items require an action (or bonus action) to be properly activated (or deactivated).

But there is a common magic item in Xanathar's Guide to Everything (p. 138) that doesn't seem to require an action to (de)activate: the Pole of Angling.

While holding this 10-foot pole, you can speak a command word and transform it into a fishing pole with a hook, a line and a reel. Speaking the command word again changes the fishing pole back into a normal 10-foot pole.

Let's say Bob has a Pole of Angling with the "BEE" command word. He holds it in his hand, and starts saying "BEE BEE BEE BEE BEE BEE BEE BEE BEE". Will the Pole transform again and again and again in the span of a few seconds (a single "turn")? Or does the command word implicitly require an action?


2 Answers 2


The Pole of Angling can be activated or deactivated freely (no action required)

The rules for a magic item requiring a command word do not imply that any action is required by default:

A command word is a word or phrase that must be spoken for an item to work. A magic item that requires a command word can't be activated in an area where sound is prevented, as in the area of the silence spell.

This means that unless the item specifies otherwise, having to speak a command word only has the requirement that you must be able to speak and not be in an area where sound is prevented.

Further note that different items may specify different actions, along with a command word:

Since the pole does not state that it needs any action, no action is needed to speak the command word.


No action required; frequency to be decided by DM

Items that require an action state that they require it. This does not say that it does, so it doesn't.

However, you may not have that pole ready and in hand, and doing so would still require your object interaction as part of your action/movement.

But feel free to "bee" as much as you like - or as much as your DM deems reasonable during your 6 second turn.


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